- Apprentice Lawyer
A woman who has attained the age of majority has the right to live her life on her own terms, the Allahabad High Court recently declared in unequivocal terms.
A bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal went on to direct police protection for safe passage of an inter-faith couple after taking into account the fact that the woman had expressed her desire to live with her husband, Salman.
The Court, therefore, set aside an order passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Etah who had handed over the custody of the woman to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Etah which, in turn, had handed over the woman to her parents.
The Court also directed the investigating officer(IO) to grant appropriate protection to the couple till they return to their residence.
The Court placed reliance on the date of birth mentioned in the school certificate in which it was clearly mentioned that the woman was born on October 4, 1999.
The CJM had relied on the birth certificate of the woman which was registered in 2019.
The High Court, however, said that as per Section 94 of the Juvenile Justice Act, the birth certificate will not take precedence over the school certificate.
Allahabad High Court
Accordingly, the FIR filed under Sections 366 IPC (Kidnapping a woman to compel her to marry a person against her will) against the husband was quashed.